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6/6/2017  |  by Harvey Chipkin

Politics took center stage at the annual NYU International Hospitality Conference.

6/5/2017  |  by Harvey Chipkin

The 96-room resort, to be called Belmond Cap Juluca, continues to operate as it begins a $121-million renovation and expansion.

5/31/2017  |  by Harvey Chipkin


Butterfield & Robinson, the luxury tour operator, will offer a walking tour in northern India next year, marking a return to the Rajasthan region for the company.

The activity level for the program is labeled “recreational,” meaning it is for people who “enjoy a good hike.” Guests also may skip the walk and do yoga, get spa treatments or swim. With stays in luxury hotels, the seven-day/six-night India Walking Tour runs in February 2018 and starts at $7,995, with single supplements starting at $1,500. Among the highlights:

  • A walking tour through the Old City of Jodhpur reveals bustling markets with trade, cultural traditions and cuisine, before a private, after-hours tour of Mehrangarh Fort leads to a glass of champagne and the sunset from nearly 400 ft. above the Blue City.
  • A day in the village of Narlai and nearby foothills includes some of the oldest temples in the region before travelers hike “elephant mountain” from their hotel.
  • A drive to Kumbhalgarh leads to the magnificent Mountbatten Lodge and a sanctuary hike, followed by a visit to the Jain temple of Ranakpur, where the Jain religion and a maze of 1,444 distinctly-made marble pillars take the forefront.
  • The rolling views of the Aravalli Hills are the backdrop to morning yoga, followed by a two-hour hike to views from Rashtrasena Mata temple, a famous 500 foot- tall structure and a lakeside lunch picnic near Devigarh Pal.
5/25/2017  |  by Harvey Chipkin

Enterprise Holdings Inc.  will enter the Vietnam market with its flagship brand, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, as well as its National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car brands.

The company will partner with an affiliate of MP Logistic as its first franchisee in Asia on the Vietnam location. Next year, MP Logistics will begin providing long-term rentals under the Enterprise Rent-A-Car brand primarily to the employees of multinational companies with operations in Vietnam. Over time, the offering will expand to include short-term car rental services for business and leisure travelers.

During the last five years, Enterprise Holdings has rapidly expanded the presence of its three brands and now serves more than 95 percent of the worldwide car rental market. In the beginning of 2012, the company operated in just three European countries – the United Kingdom, Ireland and Germany. Today, the Enterprise Holdings global network operates in more than 90 countries and territories, including North America, Central America, South America, the Caribbean and Europe, as well as parts of Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.

5/22/2017  |  by Harvey Chipkin

Universal Orlando's latest on-site hotel is now open for booking.

5/19/2017  |  by Harvey Chipkin


Pleasant Holidays announced an “exclusive” package at Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay on the Island of Hawaii. The package features an exclusive rate combined with added values, including daily breakfast for two and 15% discounts on spa treatments at the resort. The offer, bookable only through the operator, is valid on new bookings for select travel through January 2, 2018. Roundtrip airfare and accommodations in either Mountain View or Ocean View rooms are required. There is no minimum stay requirement.

The Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay offers multi-level pools, a waterslide and dramatic ocean views, set on 22 acres on the island’s West Coast.

5/17/2017  |  by Harvey Chipkin


CheapOair.com this week released a summary of travel trends from 2013 through 2017. Among the findings (based on booked trips, not number of passengers):

  • The least number of travelers choose to depart on Sunday and Monday, making those the best days to fly.
  • Thursday is the most crowded departure day.
  • Domestic travel has increased by nearly 50% since 2013. The most significant jump came between 2016 and 2017, with an increase of 15%.
  • Domestic ticket prices in 2017 were slighter higher than in 2016, but still lower than the average airfare since 2013.
  • International airfare is at its lowest since 2013; 2017 average prices were 17% lower than in 2013.
  • International travel has increased by nearly 170% since 2013. The most significant jump came between 2016 and 2017, with an increase of nearly 30%.
  • The total number of passengers has increased by 85% since 2013.
  • Average trip duration has increased from 10 days in 2013 to 13.61 days in 2017.
5/16/2017  |  by Harvey Chipkin


Pleasant Holidays is offering a BOGO (Buy One Get one) Hawaii Activity Sale for packaged vacations to Oahu, Maui, Island of Hawaii and Kauai. Travelers can buy one activity, tour or sightseeing excursion and get one of equal or lesser value free. The offer is valid on new Hawaii bookings made by June 4, 2017 for select travel through December 15, 2017 and requires roundtrip airfare and a minimum three-night stay at a participating hotel or resort.

Travelers can select from hundreds of activities throughout the islands. Popular choices include: the USS Arizona Memorial & USS Missouri Tour at Pearl Harbor; island luaus and the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu; the Hana Adventure Tour and Molokini Snorkel Adventure on Maui; the Na Pali Catamaran Cruise and Kipu Zipline Safari on Kauai; and the Big Island Spectacular Helicopter Tour and Twilight Volcano Adventure Hike on the Island of Hawaii.

In addition to the complimentary activity, which has a maximum value of $500, many of the 30 participating resorts offer exclusive hotel rates and added values that can only be booked through Pleasant Holidays. These include room upgrades, daily breakfast, spa discounts and more. At the time of booking, a voucher will be generated for the BOGO activity offer; the voucher can then be redeemed by the traveler or his/her travel agent by calling 1-888-229-7770. Fees and surcharges are excluded and must be paid for both tours, and there is a limit of one complimentary activity per booking.

5/12/2017  |  by Harvey Chipkin


Cape Arundel Inn & Resort in Kennebunkport, ME, has added six newly designed luxury accommodations known as the Rockbound Bungalows. Adjacent to the Victorian-era home that is the main house of the resort, these six rooms provide expansive front-porch views of the Atlantic Ocean located across the street.

Each 400 square-foot room is outfitted with king beds, Frette fabrics, metallic detailing and contemporary finishes including hardwood flooring, velvet headboards, onyx side tables. Inspired by the seaside setting, the Rockbound Bungalows have custom marble vanities, breakfast bars and sitting areas with a gas fireplace.

In addition to the main house, the resort is home to 15 wooded acres in a cluster of private homes a short distance away. The club house has an additional 14 rooms, a three-bedroom cottage, a heated outdoor pool, expansive lawns, and a library with a pool table, fireplace and full bar.

5/10/2017  |  by Harvey Chipkin


Soneva is selling a Great Family Escape activities package to two resorts in the Maldives and one in Thailand. The packages include seven activities for up to six adults and three children and is designed specifically for family reunions.

Guests can choose seven experiences from more than 15 options including: dolphin cruises, glass blowing, snorkeling, cooking class, treasure hunts and wine tasting.

The package is priced at $4,500 at Soneva Kiri on Koh Kood, an hour flight from Bangkok; and $5,000 at Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani in the Maldives.

The package does not include accommodations but is combinable with all offers and promotions. One option is to combine it with an Ultimate Family Getaway Package where children up to 12 get free domestic transfers and full board; or with a Larger Villas for Unforgettable Friends and Family Getaways package. All can be booked through Soneva reservations or tour operators.